We have all been turned off by a company’s customer service department at some point in our lives. In the past, customers had to directly call or physically visit a company to resolve any issue. Nowadays we have social media, and it can make our lives a lot easier.
One of the best tools for online customer service is the popular online chatbot known as Facebook Messenger. Worldwide, there are over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users, making it overwhelmingly, the most popular social media channel. The Messenger app, created by Facebook, has become one of the world’s most popular means of communication. More recently, it has also become an important way for brands to communicate with customers. Let’s discuss how to use this powerful (and free) social media app in your customer service strategy.
With the rise of social media, customers expect companies to be available 24/7. Automation and chatbots provide a perfect solution for this demand. More and more businesses are starting to embrace this fact. Not only can it reduce customer care costs, it also allows your company brand to grow positively. You can use chatbots to deal with simple and basic questions as well as first interactions with clients. However, don’t be fooled; while it may reduce customer service costs initially, to be effective it will require a considerable investment of time and resources to do it right.
Why Facebook Messenger?
Messaging apps in general create a more human interaction with customers, which is what most people are looking for to begin with. Facebook Messenger is second place on the list of chat apps with over 1.2 billion active users monthly (just behind WhatsApp). Facebook Messenger is mobile friendly, fast and it can easily be integrated into a company website or Facebook page in order to interact with clients.
How to take advantage of Facebook Messenger
The advantage of chatbots is that there is no necessity to invest in complicated or expensive software or plugins. You can simply use the Messenger features to interact with your clients and improve your customer service. Here are a few ways you can leverage this platform:
- You can use Messenger to privately chat with anyone who posts on your page or comments on any of your posts. This way, your customer service team can look out for specific customers or ways to start conversations.
- You can respond to anyone who sends you a private message, which arrives in your business’s messenger inbox (different from your personal inbox).
- Facebook also offers what is called the ‘unified inbox’. It gathers reviews, comments and messages from both Facebook (including Messenger) and Instagram.
Tips on how to use Facebook Messenger for customer care properly
Although most companies uses Facebook Messenger app in different ways, a personal approach is essential. Our social media marketing agency has the following recommendations if you consider using Facebook Messenger as an extension of your customer service:
- To create a more personal relationship with your customer, reply or talk to them using their first name. When responding to comments, use the ‘@’ tag using a person’s first name for them to get notified of your answer.
- Respond as quickly as possible. As we mentioned before, customers expect your company to be available 24/7 which means they expect answers quickly. The longer it takes for you to answer a customer, the weaker your customer service appears. Did you know that Facebook actually displays your company’s response speed on your page? This is an important indicator of your customer service quality. The Facebook designation of ‘very responsive to messages’ means your page achieved a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes or less within the last week.
- No matter how hard it may be sometimes, remember the old cliché “the customer is always right”. Try and turn any negative comment into a positive experience. Listen to what the user has to say and respond in a kind, empathetic and helpful way.
- Always remain calm. Respond in a polite and elegant manner without ever getting angry. If the customer gets too aggressive, move the conversation over to a private one and handle the situation in a professional manner. If it gets out of hand, notify a supervisor or someone higher-up in your company. Never allow your emotions to take control.
Train your managers
Using social media for customer service requires a clear guideline for managers on how to respond to comments, whether it’s positive, negative or a complaint. While there should be checklists and standard answers, customer service reps should be given as many tools or information to handle issues or complaints on their own. To achieve this, comprehensive and detailed training is crucial.
In summary, social media and specifically Facebook Messenger is a powerful tool for online customer service. Messenger adds a personal touch to any communication with your clients and a quick and effective way to deal with negative comments or complaints. The amount of consumers using social media to contact brands has increased exponentially and they expect answers fast. Incorporate the tips provided above by our social media experts and be rewarded with an impeccable brand reputation! Feel free to be in touch should you want to discuss using social media for your customer service strategy in greater detail.
iRISEmedia.com is a Toronto based social media marketing agency, specializing in social media management, digital marketing and online branding. Our team helps clients manage and grow their online presence and branding to increase qualified web traffic and online leads.